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Mary Frances Berry Education. (2012) 'And Justice for All.'

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Birmingham 8, Mary Frances Berry 7, Idaho 6, Us 4, United States 4, U.s. 4, America 4, Nashville 3, Michigan 3, George Wallace 3, Ronald Reagan 3, Taylor 2, Brown 2, Johnson 2, United 2, Eisenhower 2, Martin Luther King 2, Dr. King 2, Baltimore 2, Mississippi 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Mary Frances Berry  Education.  
    (2012) 'And Justice for All.'  

    February 22, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00pm EST  

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to tax to her about this book, "and justice for all: the united states commission on civil rights and the continuing struggle for freedom in america." mary frances berry, when did the u.s. civil rights commission begin to decline? >> guest: the civil rights commission started in 1957. president president eisenhower had a lot those discussions with john foster dulles, secretary of
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state, how the united states was world that people would hear about and read about and the fact that there seemed to be a lot of episodes that kept happening, whether as lunching or some kind of discrimination taking place in the country. so the idea was, as eisenhower said he slammed the table is inside those are the facts. the commission has been out, there is a tough problem that people don't want to do anything about it. so they get a report on it goes away. but this commission is supposed to put the facts on top of the table and then its future would depend on what i found out, how aggressive it was and what the
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public thought about what they were doing. >> said this was initially set up as a temporary commission? just go right it came the year before the little rock crisis. but the ferment going on in the country, it was to defuse part of the christ is an present a better image of the country to the world that if i'm the way they could recommend some solutions, that would be great. >> host: who made up the first commission? >> guest: the idea was to put people on there who could be respected, someone people would think his objective. they took a chairman who is the president at eastern michigan state. >> host: a black man? >> guest: yes, assistant secretary of labor and they thought he was the sort of
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moderate%. i read all the white house trails, by the way. i didn't just serve on the commission. i got all the files from other presidents, of the white house and rat so i can see what they were saying inside about what they were doing. so the one my black guy who was an adviser in the eisenhower white house mostly with the to tell them the names of people that could point to something that would get them in trouble. the rest of the folks on manner, a professor from notre dame, an important figure. that had important people on it to start with. >> host: mary frances berry, when he served as chair of the civil rights commission? >> guest: i came in 1980 after having served in the carter administration after having been chancellor at university of colorado, boulder, where people say was the first woman to be
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had as major research university. in any case, i came and i had excises ronald reagan because even now i was just a commissioner, i am not with one latina woman, who is the only other minority on the commission would be sent whenever the commission tried to do something that was terrible. we had a big fight with 10, but i went through all of those sites. finally it was clinton who made nature of the commission. >> carter appointed me when i left his education. he appointed me to the commission. >> host: at what point did it become clear that agency would become permanent in a sense? >> guest: after the first year when the report stated, with the
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commission did with instead of sitting down and saying okay, they did some hearings. the major powers the commission hide a point not in the book continues the most important thing about the commission. it will go out and listen to people that nobody else will listen to you. the civil rights problems people had said they could not get anyone to pay attention. not just local people, but the federal government. they would write letters and nobody would pay attention. the civil rights commission decided. listen to these people and see what they have to say and they have the power of the statue to subpoena anyone. eisenhower said the reason i want to get it passed by congress is because my attorney general tells me that's the only way they can subpoena anybody. given what the problems are,
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some people may not want to come testify. so the commission went in the south and looked all over the place to see what the problems were and made recommendations that were controversial, but seemed to make sense. after they've been there a while, it was clear they needed to be reauthorized and continued to work on these issues. the whole civil rights movement heated up. then the commission spent the next few years figuring out what to recommend to the government to bring to fruition but these people were protesting about industries. in other words, people were protesting and going to jail and so on, but what they did is make recommendations about what legislation would look like that might do something to help alleviate some of these problems. >> host: professor mary frances berry, were all members
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originally appointed by president eisenhower? >> guest: the members are appointed by him and confirmed by the senate. it was a bipartisan -- some of the people were democrats and some are republicans. >> host: going back to mr. wilkins also, any relation to academic roger wilkins have today? >> guest: no, it's another old family and my dear friend, roger kahn is not related to that family. that family is related to a professor at harvard whose name is also wilkins. as for chicago, illinois republican wilkins as opposed to revoke an naacp line. >> host: how did the commission change the kennedy administration cavemen? >> guest: when the kennedy administration came in, i called the chapter something about being with friends, among friends because the commissioners were all saying to
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themselves, these are good, solid democrats who are liberals and they're going to do everything we say needs to be done. now is the time to get it all done. they did know behind the scenes, bobby kennedy, good body, not the bad body he became later. they think we're going to do this. it wasn't civil rights. the problem is the committees in the congress were controlled by democrats who are from the south and who are racists. thank you slim, mississippi, mcclellan, the people who control the judiciary committee and they control judicial appointments. so instead of the friendly reception they thought they would get, they would be listened to, but the administration would take their recommendations and try to incorporate them later on in
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legislation. but until the civil rights movement for asencio, they would just simply be polite and write back and forth to themselves that these people think we're going to do this. we can't do this. so they found out and try to cooperate with the administration. but what they found out was that with the independents put into law when they were set up, which made them an independent voice, was really important and that they shouldn't try to be friendly with them administration. his job was to be a watchdog over what the administration was doing. and they learned that i went kennedy was assassinated and johnson was a pro-civil rights president because of that and the civil rights movement, they proposed civil rights legislation ever enacted into law. >> host: at what point did you
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become aware in your life at the civil rights commission? >> guest: i became aware when arsenic graduate program. someone came to me and asked me if i would work on a project they had. theistic advisors. >> 60s, 70s? >> guest: yeah, i then used the reports because the reports they did were very good reports and some of the historical research i did. so i was very much aware of them. finally, by the time roe v. wade was decided, the commission asked me if i would write some name as a history for that and how that all played out and with a history had an odd way back to england and so on and i did a report for them. >> host: what is your history? per year from? >> guest: i have from nashville, tennessee. throughout the nashville and my
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family and relatives are still there. i went to pearl high school and i went to howard university and then i went to university of michigan. >> host: law school clinics >> guest: the history department where i got a phd and i went to law school. amnesties you had to get those degrees, but you couldn't get them at the same time. now you can. i had to do one and then i had to do the other. >> host: did you come to graduate school on purpose? >> guest: yes, i cannot purpose, absolutely. i went to segregated schools in nashville growing up. the high schools for north and i went to howard and not make sense. and i'm about to michigan, arizona the first students he was is black was back in a phd program because when i got there, the head of graduate studies that he was surprised to
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see me and i found out what that meant. and then he told me, there was one time in the group came through here years ago, but he didn't graduate is what he told me. so i was there in the department. i was sent there by my professors at howard who wanted me to work with a particular professor there and the institution. >> host: mary frances berry, who are your parents? >> guest: my parents were poor folk, who my father left his early. he was one of those lost, stolen or strayed and am a mother raised us. i spent some time in an orphanage and i was financing. that's one of my earliest memories. and i'm a mother raised us on her own and a very extended family, in which my generation was the first generation to have her go to college. my mother graduated from eighth grade. she was smarter than i am.
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she wanted to go to high school, but there is no high school to go to at that time. she very rush wanted to get this educated. >> host: windier member been interested in public policy and following this? >> guest: when i started doing medical history at michigan and started leaving the history staff, and addressed during the civil war, from reading the documents i read, all the materials and so on, beaten and legal history in a while, i got very concerned about how power is exercised and whether there's a voice for people who are not in power. how did the power this gives somebody to listen to them, which is what it is so much
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about a commission because i was insisting on listening to people. you know when you go to san antonio, texas and it was the first commission on the team as i write about in the book. there's all these latina or nobody's ever to them and their cake out of school with dirty language. education is awful. we listen to them. you go and read about the book who was run over by a car in 1951 -- 1961, and the commission listened to him because he was a korean war veteran. they share stopped the car, shot him. for no reason at later came out he shot him because he was black and he just wanted to shoot him. but i was paralyzed as a veteran and the va wanted not to give
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her penchant because he must've been creating trouble, so therefore it was his fault and should get a pension. he asked everybody to help him. all the government agencies, nobody would help them. finally the civil rights commission sent investigators down to find out what was going on and they ended up being able to give him his pension. i told him the story. if it is paralyzed of course, but never told them how this type into the. it is the commission that data, so i think what i was interested and, what i am still interested in is there has to be some lame to have a voice for people where they can go somewhere and somebody will listen to what they have to say. >> host: had there been efforts over the years by congress or maybe a particular president to disband the
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commission? >> guest: ronald reagan tried to do that. it always amazes me. reagan has become one of our most beloved presidents. people forget some of the stuff that happened and he wanted to change the direction of civil rights. he wanted to make sure the civil rights laws passed in the 60s weren't enforced the way they were supposed to be enforced. so he decided -- first thing they decided to do is replace all the commissioners because the commission was standing up in watchdogging a ministration, so they said okay, we'll change the numbers and then we got into a big fight because when the copper didn't change me, i sued them. i won the lawsuit. the court said the commission is supposed to be a watchdog. i used to say he should be a washout and not a lapdog for the
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frustration. so they succeeded that when changing the direction of the commission. even though we were able to get some traction during my time, things like bush v. gore, going under the 2000 election but the voter suppression, but the commission has never been the same since that time. break-in and a sense succeeded making it a body that couldn't listen to ordinary people are i wouldn't listen to ordinary people and was not independent and they kept trying to feel that they should transition. if it is there going to do that they have cabinet officers and political appointees all over the government. your job is to monitor them and tell the public what they're doing and make suggestions for how things should be improved. right now in the most recent
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election, on the voter suppression activity that took place across the country in the whole big debate about it, the civil rights commission should have been at the center of that debate based on its history come can experience of voting and voting and making invasions. it was nowhere to be seen. so it has subverted commission is supposed to have. what needs to happen if the converted by another kind of body or something. >> host: was the current makeup of the u.s. commission? >> guest: but still bipartisan. the commission has eight members. four and four. no more than for the same political party. what people decided to do is play with that designation. what they want to appoint somebody, they have to change their party. or change something and then
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they appoint them anyway. but it has become the way the structure is because of our bacon taped to it, it is hard to get a majority to do anything construct is. and the people who are appointed, unlike in the old hvac and 57 and 60 and so on are not supposed to be people objective, independent minded, for home this is not a job and who are widely respected across the country and who will be aggressive and not see themselves as catering to their own political party. >> host: who is the current chair? >> guest: i have no idea. i have no idea who is the chair of the commission. i have no idea what it's doing and i haven't seen anything it's done. since i left, i had no idea what they're doing. >> host: you left in 2004? >> guest: i left because my term is going to be up in
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january. since december 2004. when bush got reelected, i didn't see any sense in staying around for that and i was not planning to stay and i didn't want him to appoint me and i'm sure he wouldn't, so that's why that is. post or the president to a point and then the congress -- >> guest: as a result of a president reagan and his proposals and has tried has tried to fire a single in the lawsuit, congress passed a compromise as they do on these things. the compromise extended the commission from six to eight, no more than four. the congress gets to appoint four and there's no confirmation. the studio had to be confirmed by the senate and they are for the public chance to see who is being appointed and weigh in if they felt like it. now it's just considered to be a
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patronage position that somebody wants to appoint somebody come as they appoint them. >> host: did you have any relationship with ronald reagan, the republican senator at the time he served? >> guest: jesse helme used to send me birthday cards. he had strom thurmond used to send them all the time. ronald reagan, deal the action i had with him within the senator's thoughts are a congress they are invited me to come in. he seemed like a very affable, personal guy. sunny personality and all the rest, but the least amusing thing for me as he told the press when he fired me in the press asked him why. a reporter came back and told me she stares at my pleasure and she's not getting any pleasure in the press got a big laugh out of that one.
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>> host: what was your reaction? >> guest: that was almost as bad as the guy in the bush administration and the justice department supposedly said he liked his coffee like mary frances berry, black and bitter. but reagan was better. i served at his pleasure, not getting him very much pleasure. the court was brought into evidence when i sued right and in the court says, that among other things, the president doesn't fire people in an independent agency who are watchdogging had because they're not giving in pleasure. they're not supposed to be giving him pleasure. this is to monitor what does. but i found it to be enough of a person can be a nice guy to have a with. >> host: professor berry, of what are you most proud of your service and the u.s. civil rights commission?
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>> guest: at that you're going to ask me what i was most proud of. a lot of things, that being in the anti-apartheid movement in getting south africa freed. but as far as the commission is concerned, i am proud of the hearings begin in florida on the 2000 election because we heard again from people nobody would listen to and we found out where thousands of people who were registered to vote, who are the co-voters and they just wouldn't let them vote. it's just that simple. i'll never forget the minister who came in and said when he went on to that with his family, and they told him he was a combat talons and he couldn't go. he said that's not true. only time i've ever been to the court house is on a set or testify for someone in a case they asked me to testify in. he said i voted here in the same precinct last time. so are you telling me i'm a convicted fell in front of his family and friends and
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neighbors? you said you have to get out of here. turns out he was in a cell in and they had it at the information and purge the voter list and anybody who had a name similar to somebody else's name, they simply said they were felons and there were thousands of people in that position. so i'm very proud of the hearings that we did on that. but you can't and voter suppression by doing that. this time around the commission didn't follow up on what was done before and they still have instances of voter suppression in this country. >> host: what you do at the university of pennsylvania? >> guest: i teach history of american law. i teach a course to anybody who wants to take it in the history of american law from the
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english. two after reconstruction and from reconstruction to the president. and i teach a seminar called the history of law and social change about topics i am interested in. it's one of those things we do what i'm interested in. i picked topics that have current peak, but that history and to show how the history and ask the question, and as history any place in policy? of course it does and should have their? this semester we are doing issues like the lgbt rights, education and the whole debate over education reform, whether it works, students read materials from all sides of these issues and then we discuss and analyze them. >> host: dns washington? >> guest: i miss the little bit of power you have in
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government office because i matter how small the agency and how miniscule the power, when people have problems, you can sometimes help them. as far as the commission is concerned, and just being able to bring people but no one heard from and no one would listen to and listen to what they have to say. >> host: this is your third, fourth book? >> guest: now. i've written many more books. i've written probably nine or 10 books. >> host: is there another one coming? >> guest: i'm working on one now. >> host: and to top it? >> guest: the topic is, what does it mean -- it is on voter fraud. i found documents from a place in louisiana of all places where they seem to have a persistent record of voter fraud from an 18th century until now. it's bipartisan, so i was giving
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similar records from the voter fraud that goes down there that nobody else has. so i have been reading them. this'll be if you want to see voter suppression, here is voter suppression. >> host: when can we expect that book? >> guest: within the next year. >> host: mary frances berry, when you're the term post-racial, what do you think? >> guest: i think somebody is an ada. i think there was a big debate about this by now, with the lack that by the democrats. the idea is that we are beyond noticing the again about issues of race. i guess that's what that means. obviously we are. there's to many things that happen. even the presence of obama in the white house itself raises
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racial questions for some people said that while we may be on the way some day to be post-racial, i think it is fair to say that we are not now. >> host: do have a relationship obama? >> guest: not really, no. >> host: "and justice for all," her most recent book, professor at the university of pennsylvania, former chairwoman of the u.s. commission on civil rights. here is a history of the u.s. commission on civil rights. mary frances berry on booktv on c-span 2.
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>> i'm sure you're more familiar with malcolm knox. at that time, he was always supposedly the man in favor of violence. that wasn't the issue. he did support the right of armed self-defense, but he didn't promote progressive
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violence. malcolm x said power against power. we are not going to convince the right segregationists to accept. we have to build our own four saves until they have no choice but to recognize their demands and that's power. and he called this black nationalism. he built a whole ideology about it. that's black pride. it meant economies of black communities, the northern ghetto, so to speak should be run by blacks instead of absentee white owners. he believes community control of schools. so yes, he believes in black autonomy. he's not an integrationist as such and he said it's up to us, it is our struggle.
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>> taylor branch, author of the multivolume, "america in the king years" presents his thoughts on key moments in the civil rights movement. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you, mr. hill. i've been here before. i'm glad to be back and now glad to be back talking about something that has been a subject dear to me for my whole life and is inescapable now that i'm getting older, that it is my life's work and i am glad for it. this is another round. i'm going to take more questions tonight. going to say provocative things about what i think this history is significant and about this project itself, which is a little odd to spend 24 years
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writing a 2300 page trilogy and commodity years later with 190 page book. a lot of people who have read some of the other ones think it's probably not true, that i'm not capable of writing something this brief. i assure you that i did. there is blood on the floor of my office because it's about eliminating or setting aside 95% of what i worked so hard to produce. in the interest of finding them is failing apart in the original language and 18 moments that i thought could reintroduce, nmr compact form, the major element, and is a large kerry is dear to me and i will tonight. i'm still curious myself to
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people who have lived the whole trilogy. i get a cell the time for people who say they read the whole trilogy every year and i am very grateful. that's an amazing thing. most folks out of bookstores and six months or less. these are still around for 20 something years. they're americans who who won't pick up even a storytelling boat that involves people personally at this more than 800 pages long. which my books are. when my publisher came to me with the challenge to try to have a compact version that would involve making the selections number one, which was hard enough, but then writing new material to summarize what was left out and drop you into each story in a sense to give people a sense of the full sweep of an extraordinary transformational era.
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i accepted it for two reasons. number one, teachers over the years have complained to me that their students relate to storytelling, particularly trying to understand race relations. most of what passes for discussion of race relations in the united states' argument and argument is just people making themselves look good by pretending to discover some thing. taking some sort of morally unassailable point of view and defending it with new labels the new words. we are trained in the last few think analytical words command detail. up largely of race relations, is fools gold when things are really personal. teachers say they couldn't assign an 800 page that two high
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school students. and even a lot of college students. quite frankly, two years ago, i went for a foundation in new york, which makes teaching is available to teach american history. the same in idaho to talk to teachers about the challenges of teaching american history in particular civil rights history. i don't know how many of you have gone to idaho, but i went reluctantly because there's basically no black people in idaho and i didn't know anybody would be interested in it. i was thrilled on one hand that they were intensely interested and they said something that's really obvious, which is something i always say. they said this is not just race relations. this is about fairness. this is citizenship, stuff that is really broad. we want to teach this material, but here's the way it is,
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taylor. on sunday night in idaho, i cooking dinner for my kids and with one hand and googling the internet and a desperate hope that i can find something that has been a storytelling that i can present it to my kids and are you for days they get to communicate the civil rights movement. our textbooks are oatmeal, arguments with dave holland and, deliberately trying to make this history and accessible. i didn't do anything. the institute may not be popular here, but it's a very good organization. [laughter] so we've apologize. anyway, these teachers in idaho said, what you don't realize is
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we are on the low end of the totem pole of your history teacher. school is in the united states are now evaluated by test scores for students and can wish and not, not history. if you're a good history teacher, you're suggesting you might do well to teach english because the school is not evaluated on history. but that a sense of american history, it's impossible to teach citizenship, which is also been wiped out of our curriculum. they say our schools are not go to teach history based bsn we are not treating citizens of the blue citizens are response to vote for their own government, we are imperiling their own republic. we are at the low-end of the budget scale if you are in the history department at the public high school in idaho because most of the budgetary priority goes to the other subjects. our textbooks aren't very good to begin with. please do something because it's
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not just about the storytelling and your trilogy, we can't assign it to her kids. most of our kids are getting their material on ipods anyhow. if there were material put in a form we could use, we could i pass the whole text with business and engage our students and have a great leap forward. i met a lot of these teachers and it occurred to me they've been telling me the same thing for years. storytelling is critical in race, but it has to be done in a way that is palatable for the student in the last thing in the world we can do is blame the students for not learning the history that does not come through their umbilical cord. if we don't teach it to them, we cannot blame them for not learning. if i believe if they do and i'm going to explain very briefly
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why they think the american history is not easy to get, are vital to have, then it's worth every bit of effort we can make to try and make it easy for teachers who are primary conduits for added our republic can't hear and how are you going to preserve and improve it? someone is teachers that made me accept this challenge from a publisher. the other was a growing sense of frustration. i'll just give you a few cents as of this and then take questions. frustration that we are fundamentally out of balance in our historical understanding of the last 50 years. that car on content determines
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what we have receptive to to a degree that is much greater than we realize and as bad a real appreciation for the challenge, privilege, potential, intellectual content of the spirit has been pigeonholed in so many respects to make it less meaningful in our everyday lives across the lines that divide us banish it to you. so i thought what really got me with the publishers with the idea of convincing the 2300 pages into less than 200 gives me the opportunity to pick the things that i think are the most salient on the full sweep of the civil rights era, which i define as 64 to 58, peak years on the brown decision to the death of dr. king as a matter of coincidence, 54 is the year dr. king took his first church.
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he started his career. he was only 39 when he was killed in his short career exactly matches those 14 years. if i could find 18 moments i thought communicated the full sweep of the third not only as an introduction to a new generation of young people in the digital age and possibly i hope to a heck of lot of older people who don't really like 800 page books and some of the people who have complained to me about their 18 collarbone and various things on airplanes for my book, but they probably didn't finish the book either and are much more likely to get through 190 page versions. in so doing, i could concentrate but i think are the essential lessons in a way that would make people began to come out of this pervasive sense of amnesia
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star-studded perception. what i really call it is failed memory, misremembering, which is part of history that the dangerous part of history in this area. so i agreed to do it. it is novel to take your own work, redo it, try to rework it of the lessons come out and insert the integrity. it is so novel that it is an e-book now. they've got a young actor who is on smash, reading the audio version. it's the only complete audio version that had done. they'll maybe 10% on the abridged edition. this is the full thing read by leslie odom junior, who does about the tuskegee airmen. he did a fabulous job. the really new thing to name his
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favorite e-books and e-books or mail a go on i hope for students. but now they even have one called an enhanced e-book. i have any because i don't own a device that would be able -- i don't have an ipod or a mac. i've only seen it briefly. what an enhanced e-book is as it says there is a demonstration occurring. there will be of little things sane if you click here you can see news footage of the demonstration described in the text. on your computer you see a. there's a passage about the importance of music in the civil rights movement. i will say click here and here, singing this little light of mine in 1864. you can click and when you do,
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you won't forget it and you'll understand the peculiar power of that music, or martin luther king called the plan a johnson nervous that the whole alliance with the undermined by the vietnam war and i describe in the conversation in the nerves and how it happened, you can click and hear martin luther king talk to lyndon johnson on the telephone. this is an enhanced that -- an enhanced e-book. i have no idea what the marketing story. the publisher or the knows anything about it because there's a lot of panic in the book business these days. but i'm glad that they did it. this is novel. it would probably take them in hundred years in the hope that the economy to get to something is novel is an e-book and now they are doing it. i don't know how it will work.
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tomorrow in baltimore i am teaching a seminar built around a short book. i've taught it at other schools, chapel hill alma mater commuting from baltimore. this time it's different in two respects. it will be built to run shorter books with readings from the others, too. i have a seminar in front of me and people online from all over the country and even outside the country around the world, auditing this class in a test for whether or not we can use the same technology that will create an enhanced e-book, that use the technology to invite arch nemesis nancy tate part and send in questions and question each other and get to know each other using the web. so there are a lot of new items going on about how this is presented.
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i am struggling to catch up with myself. they've instructed me how to treat and twitter and facebook and all these other things, but a lot of things like the enhanced e-book i can't do because i don't have an ipod. i do believe in the possibility of immediacy and if you're trying to tell a legitimate story important from history, you need to take every resource, every chance he can to make connections. so that is the novelty side of what i am presenting here and i'm interested what you guys think about it. even the notion of using some of the language. i kind of stitch things together in the stories. but let me talk a little bit about our imbalance sense of history, the urgency that i think lies in the said act, why i want to do it, take the risk to make another connection with
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you. we had inauguration this week, barack obama january night teen, 2013. this very month his fault that they cannot bursaries regarding race in america in his tree. it's exactly 150 years ago since the emancipation proclamation by lincoln, which is now popularized in the story of the 13th amendment, to january january 33265 in the spielberg film nominated for the academy award. we are getting a sense of the history. the more pertinent for a, 105th ears, 2013, to get a sense of how tricky this history has been, i want you to think
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about the 50 year anniversary. 50 years ago this january, in january 1963, i was getting my drivers license. that was a big deal. martin luther king was resolved to go into birmingham this month. he decided and he didn't tell his father and he didn't tell any of its board members because he knew they would try to stop them. what he said was after eight years since the brown decision, the forces defending segregation have mobilized more vociferously across the segregated state and the forces of freedom and we're about to lose her window in history and if i don't take my race than i have because he was unique among civil rights leaders and saying the students were ahead of time, been willing to risk more. not a deeper understanding, but they're willing to accept more risk than he was.
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he was a reluctant witness, that he may because of his stability, he said human nature has certain things for which words alone are not powerful enough to change human beings. you have to amplify the sacrifice, with witness and these young students are pioneers in history in politics. in january 63, he said for the first time, i'm going to risk my life and he designed his plan to go into birmingham that later had such a big impact on me. he designed it, work on a comic january, february march combustor demonstrations in april. nobody paid tinkers bit of attention. it was not published anywhere in the united states. he was about to withdraw from birmingham and a colossal failure but he was talked until
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one of the greenest risks in politics either if they don't retreat until you invite high school students can a junior high school students in elementary school students to demonstrate in birmingham. and there were in birmingham about whether he had lost his sanity. to lose a campaign like this, to create such tension, he was criticized by everybody from president kennedy on down. these are untimely, don't pay any attention. he took supremists can allow children to march and that's when they unleashed the dogs and this is the great tipping point psychologically for the united states because until that point, many people, including myself and alders said the race issue is troublesome aggregation is wrong, but it's somebody else's job to do something about it and i might write a petition or in
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my case wait until a good old and secure it dirty and do something about it and i turned around their seat wrote gross margin in birmingham and it really broke the emotional distance most people had. that is 1963. we are coming up for the next five years on a series of amazing recent 50 years ago, which in the span of history's buddy blank. what i hope the march of these anniversaries will do is to somehow bring america's appreciation for the meaning of this history for future, not just for a past, more into alignment with its true impact on history. and to help you understand what i mean by this, think of one other thing from 50 years ago this month, january 1963.
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george wallace took office as governor of alabama in a speech and inaugural address famously announced he would defend segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. he was speaking for a caste system that is pervasive not only in the laws and state constitutions a southern states, but many cultural institutions across the whole country a separation. this was separation strictly by race is that this segregation was about. young black people couldn't go into libraries under law. he went to jail trying to go into a library. in birmingham, you couldn't even play checkers with a person of a different race. people went to prison in mississippi for riding on a bus seated next to somebody from a different race. segregation was pervasive beyond
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what we think. when you stop and think about it, it is pervasive in a lot of things far beyond race. there were no women at yale. there were no women at the university of north carolina except nursing students. the student body was 95% male. no black students either, but no females. the idea of women at west point was beyond the imagination of the most visionary liberal. of course the word have even been invented. it is criminal behavior in all the states and was known as the practice that dare not speak its name. beyond that, there were no seat belt. people said that would be socialism. [laughter] when you turn on the television, many of the shows were sponsored
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by cigarette companies they showed people being healthy outdoors and sophisticated smoking. that is 1963. 50 years ago in a blink. no women in the clergy, nothing like that. george wallace pledges to defend segregation forever. obviously, he failed. and when he failed in the book on segregation on the strength of the witness of those little cave that went to jail in birmingham, it broke not just for black people, but the disabled, elderly, women, at that point almost two guys in years of rabbinic judaism and never in history a female rabbi.
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that was considered a ridiculous notion. but within just a few short years at the time the civil rights movement got people struggling to put equal souls and those means really down to its core. the first is not rabbi and now nobody thinks anything about it. the first line is a veteran of the civil rights movement who ran on demonstrations, struggling within yourself about what racial separation meant and not in the south. so what i am saying is the freedom movement set loose the widest liberation in human history are beyond strictly speaking the racial caste system that is deeply embedded in the southern state. and it did that, and all around here, when i was 16 years old,
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this odd and was what mixed-race we had here would've had all of our palms sweaty because we would be worried about ramifications of sitting here with these different people. at the clan was not dressed in police are not us, we berate somebody would be here in cse are reported to her father who might do some of his customers because for aikido. it was always about somebody else. they imprisoned everyone endocrine circle of fear in every breath you take is listed at the fact that reality is no longer there. those are the things we take for granted. those are the things we take for granted not only across relation, but the fact we are the sunbelt now. we have professional sports teams and the south that we couldn't have a very segregated. they dear mayor ivan allen says
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the sinister looking at the civil rights bill passed, build a sports stadium and landed to know what the team they didn't have guts of the lucky race to move here become the first professional sports team in the south. dr. king said in a liberated themselves are segregation because it was right and because it went to the core premise of equal souls to the core of the constitution accord the scriptures, it was a great race. psychologically, economically and in so many other ways. so the question i want to pose to you is the same question that drove me to say, the circuit reason beyond the teachers to try to make a salient to get people to address the question of why is there such a tremendous disconnect between
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the broad liberation across the land a relatively low cost historically. there are many markers and a lot of violent and a lot of psychic damage, but for the amount of social change produced, it was remarkably civilized. it blesses lots and lots of other people and yet in our public discourse today, we still think of public interchange. we have a largely cynical view. the dominant idea in politics in these 50 years has been the government is bad, at least one direct it towards the purposes of the civil rights movement. so if i am right that we are at that out my illustration -- the db2 illustrations for why you think it is so pervasive. number one, george wallace, the
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same man who sent segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever, fail to protect segregation by race or any other allied systems is subjugation that divided immigrant in areas that are overlooked because were not looking for them. we are not looking for areas that the immigration act of 1965, which overturned a century and a half of exclusions for legal immigrants, people who were strictly limited to the nations of northern europe premier league. holiday shanta at all of africa were excluded. in 1965, said anna johnson got